Academic Honors and Awards Recipients
Caleb is completing his BA in the Music Education Track with a Minor in Business-Entrepreneurship. He has been actively involved in the music program throughout his years at VSU, including serving both as the baritone section leader and a staff member for the Blazin’ Brigade Marching Band and as the principle chair in euphonium for the Wind Ensemble. Caleb also worked in the music lab for three years, assisting both students and faculty with lab-related projects and hardware and software maintenance. He has won accolades as a performer in the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and the Southeast Regional Tuba/Euphonium Conference. He plans to earn a Master of Music in Euphonium Performance and develop a private teaching studio and freelance career in the Atlanta area.
Nestle is currently pursuing her BS in Psychology and has been on the Dean’s List and is a Ty Cobb Scholarship Recipient. She has been an active participant in the Honors College, a member of Model Mentors, and an Event Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity. She also volunteers for the Blazing Through Books program, sponsored by the College of Education and Human Service’s Sullivan Literacy Center. After graduation, she plans to return to VSU to earn her Master’s degree either in Marriage and Family Therapy or Clinical Mental Health Counseling, so she can help those in need, especially children of all ages.
Karen Ramirez Rubio
Karen is a Psychology major who is a member of the Honors Student Association the University Ambassadors, the Psychology Club, the Japanese Club, and the Korean Culture Club. She has also served as a mentor for students in the College Assistance Migrant Program, a literacy tutor in the Sullivan Literacy Center, and on the Executive Board of LASA (Latin American Student Association) as Secretary and Vice President. She has been inducted into Psi Chi. After graduation, she plans to enroll in a Clinical Psychology program to pursue her doctorate.
Mehvish K. Durrani
Mehvish’s has earned a number of recognitions, including repeated spots on the Dean’s List; the 2019 and 2020 Department of Biology Outstanding Senior Award; the 2019 Polymer Chemistry Award; the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Martha H. Barnes Award and Scholarship; the 2017 CRC Press Chemistry Achievement Award; and the 2017 W.R. and Dorothy Salter Scholarship. She was a Zell Miller Scholar. She has served as president and vice president of the Arabic Culture Club and as a member of the Psi Phi Chapter of Beta Beta Beta: The National Biological Honor Society; Student Member of the American Chemical Society; and the Honors Student Association. She volunteered with the South Georgia Medical Center’s Emergency Department and the university’s College Assistance Migrant Program. She has participated actively and won honors at VSU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium. She also has had two papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Mehvish plans to continue her education in the fall by attending medical school. She said she hopes “to become a doctor one day so that I can practice in rural and medically underserved communities.”
Tiana Miara King
Tiana is a senior accounting major During her time at the Langdale College of Business, she has been involved with organizations such as Enactus, the Institute of Management Accountants, and Beta Alpha Psi. She has contributed over 400 hours of community service and has been nominated for several leadership awards. She has remained on the Dean’s List during her entire VSU career with an overall GPA of 3.93 and was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma. She was able to participate in VSU’s bridge program and begin taking courses in the Master of Accountancy program this spring. Currently, she is studying for the CPA exam and has plans to finish all four parts of the exam by the time she graduates next May with her master’s degree.
Emily Nicole Mangham
Emily is a senior graduating with a degree in Elementary Education. After graduation, she will be moving to the Gwinnett County area to teach first grade this fall at Alcova Elementary School. While at VSU, Emily was a member of several honor societies, including Phi Theta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She was also a member of Phi Mu Fraternity – Kappa Beta Chapter. Emily was part of the Phi Mu dance team and intramural softball team. Emily also volunteered in the community, helping with Miracle League, a softball league for special needs individuals. Emily says she is "so excited about my future as an educator and I can’t wait to make a difference in so many of my students’ lives!"
Leah Suzanne Akins
Leah will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology. As a student at VSU, Leah was a member of the Exercise Physiology Club and a student intern at the campus-based Center for Exercise Medicine and Rehabilitation. She volunteered at the university’s annual Benefits and Wellness Fair and with Special Olympics, where she helped provide health services and education to athletes with intellectual and physical disabilities. Leah’s commitment to academic and service excellence resulted in her earning repeated spots on the Dean’s list, as well as the 2019 Blazer Creed Award of Civility. She plans to continue her education, in May, at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, where she will pursue a doctorate in physical therapy. Her dream is to establish a practice near her hometown and help rural Georgians optimize their quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.
Cadet Dustin E. Magilligan
Dustin is a junior in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) and was recently selected to become a pilot in the United States Air Force. During his time at VSU, he was appointed as the Cadet Wing Operations Group Commander where he oversaw weekly training objectives for 140 cadets. Additionally, he was voted squadron commander of VSU’s Arnold Air Society. He has remained on the Dean’s List during his entire VSU career with an overall GPA of 3.69, and due to this excellent academic standing, was awarded an Air Force Scholarship. Currently, he is preparing to attend AFROTC’s pinnacle training event held annually at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery Alabama. He was 1 of 90 cadets selected to attend this summer’s event where he will assist active duty Air Force officers evaluate more than 2,100 future officers.
Thomas plays for the VSU Men’s Golf Team as well as maintains a perfect 4.0 academic GPA while pursuing a dual major in Marketing & International Business with a minor in Entrepreneurship. He serves as a member of the Society of International Students, Business Student Advisory Council, and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He has received a Steele Business Scholarship and the Outstanding Senior Management Award in 2019. He was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, 2019. After graduation, he plans to return home to Denmark and work for a few years before coming back to the USA to earn a master’s degree.
Wesley is also a member of the VSU Men’s Golf Team, and was named Gulf South Conference Freshman Golfer-of-the-Year. He was also just named the 2020 Gulf South Conference's Spring Men's Golf Scholar-Athlete. He, too, maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA with a major in Management and a minor in Accounting. He also serves a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council.
Logan Taylor Hill
Logan is a member of VSU’s Women’s Softball Team. She has won numerous honors including Gulf South Conference Player of the Week, 2019 Gulf South Conference All-Academic Team, 2018-19 Easton/NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete. At the suspension of the NCAA Div. II Spring 2020 softball season, Logan was leading the nation in home runs. She is senior Health Science major with a 3.96 cumulative GPA. She serves a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. She plans to pursue a career in physical therapy.
Olivia is a member of VSU’s Women’s Cross-Country team and is a junior Mass Media major with a 3.96 cumulative GPA. At VSU, she has served as President of the Christian Student Center, and as a member of the Honors College, the South Georgia Film Festival Organization, the Society for Collegiate Journalists, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, & the Strategic Communication Agency. She has been on the Dean’s List for the past three years and has received two Student Athlete Academic Spotlight Award (Spring 2019, Spring 2020). After graduation, she would like to work with a news agency or become a content creator for corporate companies.
Congratulations Thomas, Wesley, Logan and Olivia
Danielle is completing her junior year as a Spanish major at VSU. She is the president of the VSU chapter of the Alphi Chi Honor Society, past president of the VSU Spanish Club, and a member of the Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish Honor Society) Danielle is an Honors student who has been on the Dean’s list every semester, maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average.
Stewart Maxwell Ward
Stewart is pursuing a BA in Biology with a minor in Entrepreneurship, and a focus in Environmental Science with a 3.82 cumulative GPA. He has been a University Ambassador since 2019, board member of the South Georgia Chrysalis since 2018, lead team member serving on the Hospitality Team for the Wesley Foundation, and Stir Youth Group College Leader. He also participated in a couple of mission trips in the U.S. He runs his own landscaping and lawn care company while studying full-time. He plans to continue to run this business before potentially pursuing a Master’s degree in a specialized environmental science field.
Dorothy is pursuing a degree in Sociology and Anthropology while also working full-time at VSU as an Administrative Assistant in the History Department and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Advising Center. On campus, she has been involved with the Women and Gender Studies Program as well as with the RSVP (Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention) Taskforce. AAUW is particularly appreciative of Dorothy’s efforts on behalf of their Sister-to-Sister Summit Program for local middle school girls. This is an annual event sponsored by AAUW to educate and enlighten the students on social, educational and career choices.
Sylandi is a Communications Major with an Organizational Emphasis in the VSU College of the Arts. She has been on the Dean’s list throughout her academic career and has been nominated and received numerous academic and service awards including the VSU NAACP Image Award and Activism Award, the VSU Eternal Flame Award, and the VSU Ethics Award. Sylandi has already secured a position as a marketing and communication specialist at Middle Georgia EMC (Electric Membership Corporation) starting in May. While in this position, she will be pursuing a graduate degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology at the University of Georgia in order to promote and advocate on behalf of rural Georgia and rural America. Her goal is to reinvigorate and revitalize the culture and economy of rural America.
Thank you & congratulations, Sylandi!
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